Web Summit chief resigns over Israel’s comments

Web Summit chief resigns over Israel's comments

The chief executive of Web Summit, one of Europe’s largest technology conferences, resigned from his post on Saturday after key sponsors and speakers pulled his name from the event next month following public criticism of Israel’s response to Hamas attacks. Has taken back.

Paddy Cosgrave, the Irish entrepreneur who founded the Web Summit in 2009, announced his resignation after companies including Google, Intel, Meta, Siemens and payments giant Stripe – several of which had executives scheduled to speak at the event – ​​said they were No more. coming.

“Unfortunately, my personal comments have become a distraction from the program and our team, our sponsors, our start-ups, and the people attending,” he said in a statement. “I again sincerely apologize for any hurt I may have caused.”

A spokesperson for Web Summit said the organization aims to appoint a new chief executive as soon as possible. The event, which is due to take place in Lisbon from November 13, is still set to go ahead.

Web Summit said Friday it expects about 70,000 people to attend, the same number as last year.

Mr Cosgrave’s move comes just a week after he criticized Western leaders and governments for supporting Israel in response to the Hamas raid on October 7. they are,” he wrote on x On 13 October.

His comments were rebuked by major technology founders and investors, especially those from Israel. Those who left also included Ravi Guptaa partner at Sequoia Capital, and gary tanChief executive of technology incubator Y Combinator.

Earlier this week, Mr Cosgrave condemned Hamas attacks in tones both apologetic and defensive by turns, but also reiterated his criticism of Israel’s military campaign. But by Tuesday, he published an apology On the Web Summit site in which he stated that he “defended Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself.”

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